Friday, January 26, 2007

Rekindling the Creative Spirit

There are a number of blogs that I visit on a daily basis for inspiration and a good story or two. Tayari Jones' blog is one of my first stops and recently she had a post on The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron that really piqued my interest.
My spirit, creatively and otherwise, has really been missing over the last several months and I thought this might be the answer to some prayers.
So I went out and bought the book and began reading it. Now, I'm not normally one who reads all of the forewards etc. to a book because I like to formulate my own views and just jump into a book. For some reason I read the Introduction and everything else at the beginning of the book and my curiosity was further raised.
Why was I so impressed? Partly because there were a number of references to God and your spirit and recently issues of spirituality and faith have been popping up around me. It's as if God has been pulling me toward Him in a number of ways.
So I decide I am going to take this journey with Tayari and guests. This is a twelve week course meant to bring your Creative Spirit to the forefront. In the first chapter there is a discussion of your champions and members of your "Monster Hall of Fame". The Monsters you might have guessed are those who have injured your spirit, and made you doubt your abilities.
I don't know if I was lost in the clouds somewhere at the time, or maybe it was the illness of my dear friend that left me preoccupied and unable to focus - but initially I couldnt' really put my hand on a Monster.
Throughout my writing career I have been fortunate in that my family has supported me and most everyone around me has offered some sort of support, never any real negatives. Yet, after further evaluation I remembered the Publisher from hell. I was working for a local weekly newspaper and the publisher and I did not see eye to eye on my writing style. At the time I was younger and more egotistical than I am today and I didn't give his opinion any weight or credit. He was very negative in his criticism and I felt it was more personal than professional so I brushed it off.
Not long after this I collaborated with some friends to start a Youth Magazine, but when that didn't pay enough of the bills I was offered a job in government where I remain today. Looking back on that time in my life I believe that subconciously I let the publisher into my head and I began to question my abilities, and this attributed to my inability for a number of years to actually sit down and get serious about my writing - creatively or non fiction.
If you're having trouble recognizing your Creative Spirit, pick up The Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self - I promise you will find something in there to help you.


  1. Interesting personal story, Shell. Something similar happened to one of my sister-in-laws. She was an honor student in undergrad, earned a MA in Journalism from Ohio State and even snagged a decent gig at a nice-size daily newspaper. But not long after signing on with the paper, she had a negative experience with an editor and pretty much stopped writing altogether.

    She is one of the funniest people I know and can "tell" a story like nobody's business, but til this day, she refuses to write them down. I think it's a shame that the world will never see her talent . . . Don't let that happen to you (smile).

  2. I am so glad that you have decided to come along on this journey with us. I really feel like something special is happening!